England international John Bateman has been voted as the 2019 best recruit by NRL.com.
The judging panel consisted of 18 NRL experts that included Wigan legend Steve Renouf, former London Broncos halfback Jamie Soward and New South Wales great Brett Kimmorley alongside a host of reporters, editors and fantasy gurus.
Nine of the 18 voted Bateman as the best new signing, noting attributes such as his toughness, aggression, quick feet and rugby brain as the reason for him taking the competition by storm.
Since joining Canberra at the start of the year, Bateman has quickly established himself as one of the senior players in the Raiders’ side, leading the forward pack alongside fellow Englishmen Elliott Whitehead and Josh Hodgson.
His stats speak for themselves. He’s scored four tries from 16 games, running an average of 113 metres in each of those. He’s also made 543 tackles so far this season and has a staggering 92% tackle efficiency rate.
Stats like that don’t go unnoticed and have earned him praise from pundits, fans, coaches and fellow players, hence his new status as ‘best buy for 2019’.
Other players mentioned as good recruits were Bateman’s Radiers teammate Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Manly outside back Reuben Garrick and Wests Tigers forward Ryan Matterson.